Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Who’s on fifth?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-06-20

In miscellaneous additions to the HTML5 language since v4, you’ve gotta love the choice of example the standards committee uses (further down the page) for the new dialog element…

The element means (although I abhor the lack of ending tags) that a browser could conceivably "play" a dialog through a voice synthesizer bank, with each "actor" (identified by the dt) being assigned a different voice.

Now… to get Hansard played with through a voice synthesizer bank based on Eccles, Cardinal Fang, Bullwinkle…..(watch me pull a policy out of my…)…

  <dt> Costello
  <dd> Look, you gotta first baseman?
  <dt> Abbott
  <dd> Certainly.
  <dt> Costello
  <dd> Who's playing first?
  <dt> Abbott
  <dd> That's right.
  <dt> Costello
  <dd> When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?
  <dt> Abbott
  <dd> Every dollar of it.

My guess is that "Parrot Sketch" is still under copyright, but this classic sketch isn’t.


6 Responses to “Who’s on fifth?”

  1. Jacques Chester said

    Um … what about dialogues with more than 2 participants?

  2. Jacques Chester said

    Also, why does Ruby get its own elements?

  3. Hello! I’m the editor of the HTML5 spec.

    I guess I haven’t used the parrot sketch yet, huh. Nothing to do with copyright, though; check out the examples in the “Footnotes” section.

    The “ruby” in the HTML5 spec is about a Japanese typographical style called “ruby”, and is unrelated to the programming language.

    If you have any feedback on the draft, don’t hesitate to let us know! See the top of the spec for details on where to send the comments:


  4. Oh hey actually I did use the parrot sketch, oops. It’s the first one in that Footnotes section.

  5. Jacques Chester said


    Thanks for that. Funnily enough I came across the relevant w3c TR seconds before coming back here to answer my own questions.

  6. Hansard? Well, *someone* is reading it out…

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